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Tampa Bay Vipers

Tampa Bay Vipers: Players to Watch in 2020, Who Made The List

Vipers Helmet (Via Twitter @XFLVipers)

The Vipers have a plethora of intriguing players primed to leave their mark on the 2020 season. We take a look at five specific players from both sides of the ball with wildly different paths to the XFL that we at XFL News Hub believe you have to keep an eye on come February 8th.

Nick Truesdell, Tightend

When XFL.com named Truesdell a player to watch in 2020, it confirmed what the Vipers saw in the 6′ 5″ converted wide receiver from Grand Rapids Community College. There is a supreme talented within Truesdell who was the only player in the 2020 XFL draft selected from the Junior College ranks. It has been a long road for Truesdell, whose professional career began in 2014 with the Indoor Football League. Since then, he’s been apart of 10 other professional football organizations including stints with the Indianapolis Colts (2016), Minnesota Vikings (2017), and New York Jets (2019). In his most recent professional play with the Salt Lake Stallions of the now defunct Alliance of American Football, he lead the league in yards, touchdowns, and receptions.

Quinton Flowers, Quarterback/Running Back

Quinton Flowers taking reps with the quarterbacks at Vipers practice. (Via Twitter @XFLVipers)

Promise is word that should come to mind when Flowers’ name is mentioned. Promise that the former USF quarterback would do anything to play professional football, including giving up the on-field spotlight and converting to running back. The impact potential Flowers has to bring the Vipers’ offense is undebatable, an impact similar to that of New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill; a player that lines up under center, in the backfield, or in the slot at wide receiver. Flowers has the ability to bring a Wildcat element to the Vipers offensive attack. An option-like approach that must have Tampa Bay Offensive Coordinator Jaime Elizondo eager to get on the field.

Antonio Callaway, Wide Receiver

Despite Callaway being added late in training camp, he offers the potential to have a massive impact on the offense. The former four-star recruit played two seasons at Florida before being a fourth round pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 draft. What Callaway can provide on the field is known, and Vipers head coach Marc Trestman knowns there is on opportunity for both sides to make the best of the situation. Callaway undoubtedly has the talent to be a difference maker and put up crooked numbers in the Vipers passing game, and he should be looking to make the best of his XFL opportunity.

Emmanuel Beal, Linebacker

Beal plays a tradition middle linebacker. Besides being an explosive sideline-to-sideline tackler, Beal possesses the ability to be a big hitter that can turn the tide and grab momentum with a single play. The three-star recruit averaged over ten tackles a game through his two seasons as an Oklahoma Sooner. Compiling 176 tackles, 10 for loss, 2.5 sacks, an interception and 2 forced fumbles. Expect Beal to be a leader by example on the football field and make a his presence felt weekly.

Jalen Collins, Cornerback

Jalen Collins #34 (far left) with some members of the Vipers on the first day of training camp. (Via Twitter @XFL Vipers)

At just 26, Collins has a chance to be the premier member of the Vipers secondary. The former four-star recruit made the most of his time at Louisiana State and was drafted in the second round to the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. He played in 24 games for the Falcons, starting eight of them, compiling two interceptions and defending 10 passes. Collins was a part of the Falcons secondary that went to, and lost the Super Bowl in 2016. His poise and big game experience brings value that isn’t recorded on a stat sheet. The Vipers knew they were bringing in a complete corner when they traded Arrion Springs, their first pick of the secondary draft, for him.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Matt Manuri

    January 27, 2020 at 10:42 am

    If you watch our Quinton Flowers highlights you’ll see an offensive monster. not utilizing him regularly is ignorant ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlbDaBh8S-w

    Couple Tweets:
    https://twitter.com/SoFloBulls/status/953847721328283648

    https://twitter.com/SoFloBulls/status/1069367875184533505

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